Trails End Recovery has been working in Vernonia for the last several years doing home demolitions after FEMA flood buyouts. More recently they have been conducting the old school site demolition.
Trails End has hired and employed several local people during their time working in Vernonia. They have recovered and made available to the public many items and materials at extremely reasonable prices. They have been easy to work with and good friends to this community. Trails End provided a low bid for deconstructing the school site and saved the Vernonia School District money in the process.
So how have at least a few member of this community chosen to repay Trails End Recovery for providing jobs for our folks? By stealing from them and vandalizing their equipment. That’s right; Trials End had approximately $50,000 in damage done to a piece of equipment that was left overnight on the school site last year. In addition over $50,000 in recoverable materials that Trails End intended to salvage and sell have been stolen from the site. The salvage operation and the expected resale of materials was how Trails End was able to provide that low bid to the school district. Lumber, wires, fixtures and more have been disappearing from the site regularly. Fencing around the site has been cut so trucks can pull in and be loaded with stolen goods.
School Board members recently expressed frustration at the way this company has been treated by what is hopefully just few members of this community. When Trails End works in Portland they build in an expected loss of 3-5% for just this reason; they expect some thievery. But this job is now, way over that amount. “Frankly, I would hope that people would have some type of a conscious and bring the stuff back,” said School Board President Jim Krahn. “but it’s probably silly to think that might happen.”
What is more likely is that someone with a conscious might contact the local police and turn in those responsible.